Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! discussion


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Why you weren't allowed to clean a gown at Princeton?

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Zura Isakadze "Futhermore, there was a rule that you never cleaned the gown, so you could tell a first-year man from a second-year man, from a third-year man from a pig! You never cleaned the gown and you never repaired it so the first-year men had very nice, relatively clean gowns, but by the time you got to the third year or so, it was nothing but some king of cardboard thing on your shoulders with tatters hanging down from it."


message 2: by Duane (last edited Nov 29, 2015 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Duane OK, well, I'm just gonna guess... it's a "Cult" thing. The filthier your fraternal costume, the more "In" you are. The Hell's Angels do the same thing with the serape - in fact, when you become a full member you put on the brand new clean serape with your patches just sewn on and and they dump a bucket of unmentionable stuff over your head and then you leave the serape under the bike for oil to drip on it - BEFORE you ever wear it on the road.

Now, I've got a Gwar t-shirt that I've worn to 4 or 5 shows so it's got Gwar blood and stuff all over it, so my "Bohab" status is probably at, like, Level 9 or something - but I'm gonna claim that it's just "Art".


Mizzou Duane wrote: "OK, well, I'm just gonna guess... it's a "Cult" thing. The filthier your fraternal costume, the more "In" you are. The Hell's Angels do the same thing with the serape - in fact, when you become a f..."
Yours is the most extreme example I've heard yet of "GRUNGE CHIC".


Nicholas Gutsche What a fascinating way to write a biography! A famous physicist, and he spends most of the time talking about his pranks haha. No seriously I loved this book, I love Feynman's sense of adventure. It's inspired me to go out and meet more people, and have more fun!


Sarah Booth You can't fake 4 years of grime and wear. It was a status thing to have a gown that was in tatters because you earned all the wear through hard work. No one could claim to be a senior who wasn't because their gown would give them away. It was a red badge of courage type thing. If you survived 4 years (or what have you) it was a big deal and you couldn't fake it. My guess is at some point people were claiming to be there longer than they actually were and this was a method that prevented people from claiming false status.


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